Thursday, November 1, 2007
Home Depot and Polar Industries, the retailer and manufacturer, respectively, of flammable foam insulation that was part of the fire at The Station Nightclub in Rhode Island, have agreed to contribute $5 million towards settlements with the families of the victims. The plaintiffs allege that the product was insufficiently labeled, in part explaining the apparent fact that the insulation was not covered up when installed. The insulation was above the drummer; another foam insulation manufacturer has already settled.
The $5 million brings the settlement fund up to $18.5 million, which includes amounts from a fireworks manufacturer (whose products evidently set off the fire in the first place), the landlord, and an alarm company. Still in the mix include the band (whose insurance carrier has contributed $1 million in an effort to resolve claims), city and state governments, Anheuser-Busch (a sponsor of the show), and Clear Channel (whose local radio stations ran ads for the show). The Globe's coverage refers to Busch and Clear Channel as having the "deepest pockets."
The nightclub owners have already been criminally sentenced (and I believe at least one has served his sentence) for their part in the tragedy.
It might be an interesting exercise to see how students would allocate fault among the various actors and compare that allocation to the financial distribution of the settlement so far. I doubt anyone would put Home Depot at over 25%...
See here for more posts about the litigation relating to the fire.